12:4 Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make thou
the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke
which he put upon us, a lighter, and we will serve thee.
(a) Do not oppress us with such high taxes, which we are
not able to pay.
12:7 And they spake unto him, saying, If thou wilt be a b
servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, and
answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will
be thy servants for ever.
(b) They showed him that there was no way to win the
people's hearts but to grant them their just petition.
12:9 And he said unto them, c What counsel give ye that we may
answer this people, who have spoken to me, saying, Make the
yoke which thy father did put upon us lighter?
(c) There is nothing harder for them that are in authority
than to control their desires and follow good counsel.
12:10 And the young men that were grown up with him spake unto
him, saying, Thus shalt thou speak unto this people that
spake unto thee, saying, Thy father made our yoke heavy,
but make thou [it] lighter unto us; thus shalt thou say
unto them, My little [finger] shall be d thicker than my
(d) I am much more able to keep you in subjection than my
12:12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third
day, as the king had e appointed, saying, Come to me
again the third day.
(e) The people declare their obedience in this that they
attempted nothing before the king gave them just
12:16 So when all Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto
them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion
have we in f David? neither [have we] inheritance in
the son of Jesse: to your tents, O Israel: now see to
thine own house, David. So Israel departed unto their
(f) Though their cause was good, yet it was hard for the
people to control their desires, as these vile words
12:19 So Israel rebelled against the house g of David unto
(g) By the just judgment of God for Solomon's sins.
12:21 And when Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he h assembled
all the house of Judah, with the tribe of Benjamin, an
hundred and fourscore thousand chosen men, which were
warriors, to fight against the house of Israel, to bring
the kingdom again to Rehoboam the son of Solomon.
(h) For as yet he did not realize that the Lord had so
12:22 But the word of God came unto Shemaiah the i man of God,
(i) That is, the Prophet.
12:24 Thus saith the k LORD, Ye shall not go up, nor fight
against your brethren the children of Israel: return every
man to his house; for this thing is from me. They
hearkened therefore to the word of the LORD, and returned
to depart, according to the word of the LORD.
(k) Who of his just judgment will punish the trespasser,
and of his mercy spare the innocent people.
12:27 If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the
LORD l at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people
turn again unto their lord, [even] unto Rehoboam king of
Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam
king of Judah.
(l) He feared least his people should have by this means
been enticed to rebel against him.
12:28 Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves [of]
gold, and said unto them, m It is too much for you to go
up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought
thee up out of the land of Egypt.
(m) So crafty are carnal persuasions of princes, when they
will make a religion serve their appetite.
12:31 And he made an n house of high places, and made priests
of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of
(n) That is, a temple, where altars were built for
12:32 And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the
o fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that
[is] in Judah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he in
Bethel, sacrificing unto the calves that he had made: and
he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places which
he had made.
(o) Because he would bind the people's devotion to his
idolatry even more, he made a new holy day, besides
those that the Lord had appointed in the law.